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Tombstones of the Ulster Plantation

Elizabeth Dodington


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The monument to Elizabeth Dodington in Coleraine Church of Ireland church is possibly the earliest of its type in west Ulster. It consists of a slate tablet, containing the inscription, set between pilasters decorated with arabesques.  This is surmounted by a cartouche containing an heraldic achievement.  The inscription is in Latin and records that Elizabeth Dodington was the daughter of Lord George Powlett, the governor of Derry, who was killed there in O’Dogherty’s rebellion in 1608.  She was the wife of Edward Dodington, who, according to the inscription, was the commander of the king’s fort in Dungiven in the county of Coleraine (the old name for County Londonderry) and who was the first to build there in the English style.  Elizabeth Dodington died on 4 June 1610 aged 24.

 

The earliest of these, which also happens to be the earliest C17 memorial in west Ulster, is to Elizabeth Dodington, the wife of Edward Dodington, who died in 1610 (Ph.O1).  The inscription records that she was the daughter of Lord George Pawlett who had been the governor of Derry and was killed in the rising of Sir Cahir O’Doharty in 1608.

 

Edward Dodington was a captain in the king’s army in Ireland in the early seventeenth century and was given command of the fort at Dungiven in 1606 with award of fourteen men.  Here he was to build a castle with a grant of £200 from the king while he contributed £300 towards the costs. In 1610-1 he was forced to surrender his lands to the Skinners’ Company although he was retained by the company as their first farmer. His connection with the town of Coleraine was firmly established when he became one of its first aldermen in 1613.  Dodington also seems to have been a burgess at Limavady and was involved with the lands of the Ironmongers Company for a short time.  He died in 1618.

 

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Elizabeth Dodington's memorial
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Elizabeth Dodington's memorial

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